In the January 2010 issue of Elle magazine, there’s an interview of Hugh Grant by Holly Millea. Whatever you think of Grant, there’s an interesting bit on the actor as an art collector.
Elle: Tell me, is it true that you bought an Andy Warhol painting of Elizabeth Taylor for $4 million in 2002 and sold in it 2007 for $23 million?
HG: Those numbers are not quite correct. It all began with a drink… And I was thinking about some stuff in the Sotheby’s auction and I saw this Warhol, so I drunkenly rang up the girl who helped me with art, and said, “You’re going to bid for that.” And to my horror, she did, and even worse, got it. I slightly regret selling it now, even though it made me rich. My contemporary art collection began with just needing to put things on the wall. I was looking around my Victorian house thinking, “What would be the coolest is contemporary art — it will make me look young and interesting.” I’m more than 80 percent skeptical of the whole thing. Having said that, the stuff I own, I have come to love now.”
See, it doesn’t matter what the size of your wallet celebrity status is, lots of people seem to think owning art will make you seem “young and interesting.” And Grant seems to at least have been intimidated or “skeptical” about art.
I can’t (ethically) suggest you get drunk and buy art (let alone bid on anything at Sotheby’s or other big auction house); nor do I even hint at a promise of millions in return on your art investment. But if you relax and sort of view buying art as a means to cover your walls, you can do quite well. At least you’re likely to end up with stuff you’ve come to love.
Scans of the interview in its entirety here.